Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Happy Birthday to the blog and Twitter and Happy Nowruz!

Nowruz Mubarak!  Happy Persian New Year to my readers, a happy 12th birthday to Twitter, and a happy seventh birthday to this blog!  I already found a cake for both Nowruz and this blog's birthday.  Now for a birthday song with a birthday cake.  Here's Katy Perry - Birthday (Lyric Video).

Yum.  I'll be back tomorrow with World Water Day followed by statistics, Earth Hour, and Marche du Nain Rouge.  I have my blogging work cut out for me.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Songs about Spring for the Vernal Equinox

Happy arrival of astronomical Spring!  For this year's celebration of the Vernal Equinox, I'm following the same format as I did for Pi Day and the Ides of March, posting the videos I will share later at Booman Tribune for another edition of Midweek Cafe and Lounge.  This week's theme is Spring, of course.

I begin with Ella Fitzgerald's version of Rogers and Hart's Spring Is Here.*

This was originally from the 1938 stage musical I Married an Angel, which became a 1942 film of the same name.  As I observed at Midweek Cafe and Lounge, Vol. 56, "I never get too far away from movie music," a tendency I'll indulge later in this post.

The next song is Lou Rawls Spring Again.

He talks about young love.  That's a theme of the next song, .Spring Fever by Elvis Presley from the movie "Girl Happy."

As I wrote above, "I never get too far away from movie music."

Finally, here is a drink for the turning of the season that also fits the themes of the last two songs, Spring Time Love from Tipsy Bartender.

Here's the recipe:

1 oz. (30ml) Gin
1/2 oz. (15ml) Elderflower Liqueur
1/2 oz. (15ml) Hibiscus Simple Syrup
1/2 oz. (15ml) Lime Juice
Hard Cider
Lime Zest

1. Middle Blackberries in the base of a shaking glass.
2. Add gin, elderflower liqueur, hibiscus simple syrup, and lime juice. Add ice and shake well.
3. Add some crushed ice to a serving glass and strain mix.
4. Top with pineapple hard cider and garnish with lime zest and blackberries.

Enjoy responsibly!
I will post all of these videos at Booman Tribune tomorrow as part of Midweek Cafe and Lounge, Vol. 57.  I'll add the link here when that happens.  (ETA: Link added.)

That's it for the last post of the seventh year of this Crazy Eddie's Motie News.  Stay tuned for this year's celebration of Persian New Year and the birthdays of Twitter and this blog.

*There are radically different versions by Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy, Peter Nero, Frank Sinatra, and Carly Simon.  I'll post those some other time.  After all, I'm an environmentalist; I not only recycle my ideas, I conserve my resources.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Driving update for March 2017: Pearl

Pearl the Prius will turn over 39,000 miles by the time I roll into the driveway tonight, so it's time for a driving update.

Pearl turned over 38,000 miles on January 25th, 53 days ago.  That translates to 18.87 miles per day and 575.5 miles per standard month.  On the one hand, that's much higher than the 14.08 miles per day and 429.58 miles per standard month I drove her from November 15, 2017 to January 25, 2018.  However, that's normal, as I didn't work for the last two weeks of December and the first week of January, whereas I worked all but one week of January through March.  Increased driving is expected.

What's more telling is the difference between January through March of this year compared to  January 2017 through February 2017, which covers the the first half of the comparable period last year.  During January and February of 2017, I drove an average of 24.39 miles per day and 743.9 miles per month.  It took me a dozen more days to drive 1000 miles during the same period this year, resulting in me driving 5.52 miles per day and 168.4 miles per month less than the comparable period last year!

The other gauge of my overall driving is how long it took me to drive 7,000 miles, which had been almost exactly a year from February 2016 until September 2017.  Pearl passed 32,000 miles on February 16, 2017.  It passed 39,000 miles today, March 19th.  That's a total of 395 days.  That translates to 17.72 miles per day.  Multipled by 365, that becomes 6468.4 miles per year.  Hot damn, I finally dropped below the 6,500 miles per year I set for myself last September!

In other news, Pearl's 12 volt battery died last month, which meant some of the programming the car had when I bought her was lost.*   Before, the dashboard showed the number of miles worth of gas left.  After the new battery was installed, it showed the miles per gallon.  That's when I found out that the car could get 99.9 MPG while coasting, hence the image I used to illustrate this entry.  It's much more entertaining, but not as informative as knowing how many miles of gas remain in the tank.

Follow over the jump for three videos about Tesla, a topic that has become a tradition with these updates.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Winners of the first Coffee Party Entertainment Awards for movies

It's March 18th, and the volunteers of Coffee Party USA have finished voting on the 2017 Coffee Party Entertainment Awards for Movies in four categories plus a special award.  As a reminder, here at the nominees for Best Drama or Comedy about Politics or Government of 2017 (Best Political Scripted Movie for short).
Darkest Hour
Molly's Game
The Post
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
And the winner is "The Post."

In lieu of an acceptance speech, here is its trailer.

Steven Spielberg directs Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks in The Post, a thrilling drama about the unlikely partnership between The Washington Post’s Katharine Graham (Streep), the first female publisher of a major American newspaper, and editor Ben Bradlee (Hanks), as they race to catch up with The New York Times to expose a massive cover-up of government secrets that spanned three decades and four U.S. Presidents. The two must overcome their differences as they risk their careers – and their very freedom – to help bring long-buried truths to light.

The Post marks the first time Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg have collaborated on a project. In addition to directing, Spielberg produces along with Amy Pascal and Kristie Macosko Krieger. The script was written by Liz Hannah and Josh Singer, and the film features an acclaimed ensemble cast including Alison Brie, Carrie Coon, David Cross, Bruce Greenwood, Tracy Letts, Bob Odenkirk, Sarah Paulson, Jesse Plemons, Matthew Rhys, Michael Stuhlbarg, Bradley Whitford and Zach Woods.
The American Film Institute had the following to say about the movie when the AFI awarded it Film of the Year for 2017.
THE POST demands America remember a time when heroism was the headline. Steven Spielberg's inarguable place in the pantheon is further etched in granite by the mastery of craft exhibited in this heart-pounding ode to journalism. Guided by Liz Hannah and Josh Singer's words in print and Tom Hanks' embodiment of Ben Bradlee, Meryl Streep captures the insightful ferociousness of Katharine Graham, proving that the fight for truth, justice and the American way is not the purview of superheroes, but fearless women and men willing to do what is just - for without them, democracy dies in darkness.
Coffee Party USA and AFI were not the only organizations to award "The Post" some form of Best Picture.  It won The Most Valuable Movie of the Year from the Cinema for Peace Awards, National Board of Review, USA awarded it Best Film, and the Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Awards bestoyed Best Portrayal of Washington, DC.  Its virtual award for Best Drama or Comedy about Politics or Government looks to be in good company.

Follow over the jump for the rest of the winners.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

St. Patrick's Day food, drink, and dance from WXYZ

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  This year, I'm taking a break from Tipsy Bartender to share food and drink ideas from WXYZ.  I just needed a change of pace and ideas from local sources fit the bill for a Detroit-based sustainability and entertainment blog.  Fortunately, WXYZ had four food and drink clips just from this week.

I begin with St. Patrick's Day Drinks.

Whiskey drinks, of course, including Irish Coffee.*

Follow over the jump for the food and dance.

Friday, March 16, 2018

R.I.P. Stephen Hawking 1942-2018

CNN has sad news; Physicist Stephen Hawking has died.

World renowned theoretical physicist, cosmologist, astronomer and mathematician Stephen Hawking has passed away at age 76.
I'm sad but neither surprised nor disappointed.  Hawking managed to live a full accomplished life while being paralyzed from ALS for more than 50 years.  That's extraordinary.

Here at Crazy Eddie's Motie News, I mentioned him in the following entries, listed in reverse chronological order:
I'm sure I won't be done writing about Hawking, as I expect Stephen Hawking's Favorite Places 2 is almost certain to be nominated for a couple of News and Documentary Emmy Awards, so I will write about the show in the fall.  Here is its trailer.

Stephen Hawking is back in episode two of our Emmy® Award-winning original series. This time, he's searching for the single idea than can explain the nature of reality, where it all came from, and why we exist at all:  the theory of everything.  Spoiler alert: he thinks he's found the answer.
I'm looking forward to its nomination(s) already.  Too bad Hawking won't be around to see it.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Two songs about Pompeii and a volcano drink for the Ides of March

"Beware The Ides of March!"  That's how I concluded Three pie songs and a pie drink for Pi Day 2018.  Over at Booman Tribune, I told my readers there what form today's doom would take, writing "I'll return tomorrow with songs and drinks inspired by the destruction of Pompeii" in the comments there.  More death and destruction in the Roman World for the Ides of March!

I begin the festivities with Siouxsie & The Banshees - Cities In Dust [Music Video].

That's a 20th Century song inspired by the disaster.  For a 21st Century take, here's Bastille - Pompeii.

Music video by Bastille performing Pompeii.

Those are the songs for today.  Now for the drink, the Lava Flow from Tipsy Bartender.

The most awesome blended drink ever...THE LAVA FLOW! Cocktails are mighty personal things, and people can have vastly different preferences for what kind they like. But we're going to go out on a limb here and say that EVERYONE will love this drink! Fruit and rum is already a badass combination, and with the extra sweetness of cream of coconut, this drink is unbeatable. Close your eyes as you take a sip and it's easy to imagine that you're laying on a tropical white sand beach. Mmm!
1oz Light Rum
1oz Coconut Rum
2oz Strawberries
1 Banana
2oz Pineapple Juice
2oz Cream of Coconut
I'm an environmentalist and I recycle, which is why I beg my readers' forgiveness by not reusing the recipes in Drink a Flaming Volcano for Jindal.  I decided to do something new today, even if the readers of Booman Tribune haven't seen my old material before.  Surprise!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Three pie songs and a pie drink for Pi Day 2018

Happy Pi Day!  To celebrate, I'm previewing the songs and drink I'll post later today at Booman Tribune for this week's edition of Midweek Cafe and Lounge #56, a weekly music feature there.  In keeping with the last two Pi Days, the songs and drink share a pie theme.

I begin with Madonna's cover of Don McLean's iconic American Pie.

Go get 'em, local girl!

Next, Jay & the Techniques with their 1967 hit Apples Peaches Pumpkin Pie.

That was a fun discovery on YouTube.

The final song on a pie theme is I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch) by The Four Tops.

I enjoyed working backwards in time with these songs.

Now for the drink, Flaming Pumpkin Pie Shots from Tipsy Bartender, of course.

Here's the recipe:

1 part Coffee Liqueur
1 part Irish Cream
1 part Goldschl├Ąger
Pumpkin Pie Spice
1. Pour coffee liqueur into the base of a shot glass before layering on Irish cream
2. Carefully top with a layer of goldschl├Ąger.
3. Ignite the top of the drink and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice.
When I post the Booman Tribune version, which will be modified and expanded, I'll post the link here.  In the meantime, Happy Pi Day and Beware The Ides of March!

ETA: Booman Tribune version, Midweek Cafe and Lounge, Vol. 56, has been posted.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

How did my Oscar predictions fare? Pretty well, actually

I opened and closed Diversity, representation, inclusion, and fantasy all winners at the 90th Academy Awards with a summary report and a promise to expand on it later.
I want to get fantasy out of the way.  The big winner was "The Shape of Water" with four Oscars, Best Picture, Best Director, Original Score, and Production Design.  Two speculative fiction movies won two awards each, "Blade Runner 2049" earning Cinematography and Visual Effects and "Coco" winning Animated Feature Film and Original Song.  Two other speculative fiction films won one Oscar each, "Get Out" for Original Screenplay and "Dear Basketball" for Animated Short Film.  That's a total of ten awards out of the nineteen categories in which speculative fiction films were nominated.  That's definitely better than the six wins out of sixteen nominations speculative fiction films earned last year and better in an absolute sense than the nine wins out of fifteen nominations in 2016, most of which went to "Mad Max: Fury Road."

I'll discuss the speculative fiction movies more later.*
*I plan on writing about the political implications of "Icarus" winning Best Documentary Feature, the political themes in some of the Live Action Short Films and Documentary Short nominees, and finally comparing my predictions from 'The Shape of Water' and 'Blade Runner 2049' lead speculative fiction nominees at the Oscars and other entries with reality.  Stay tuned.
I took care of the first two goals with 'Icarus' wins Best Documentary, making a political point at Putin's expense and Politics and diversity among Oscar nominated short subjects, so it's time to follow through with the third.  Follow over the jump for my Oscar predictions with reality.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Seeker/DNews tells its viewers to chill about Fukushima

Yesterday marked the seventh anniversary of the Fukushima triple disaster.  When I looked for graphics and videos to observe the occasion, I ran into so many conspiracy theories that I decided to look for calmer sources.  I found one in Seeker/DNews, which has been telling its viewers not to panic for at least five years.  Here are the channel's videos on the topic, all with Trace Dominguez as the host.

I begin with 2013's Fukushima Radiation: What You've Heard are LIES!  Despite the sensational title, it's not denouncing what the professionals and authorities are saying, but what the sensationalist amateurs are shouting.

You may have seen that image purportedly showing the alarming spread of Fukushima radiation across the Pacific. But dig deeper, and you'll find that's not the case at all. And that's not the only piece of false information spreading about this scary nuclear disaster. Trace dispels the rumors and tells us what's really going on.
The next year, Trace and DNews told their viewers to Stop Worrying About Fukushima Radiation!

Since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, people have been quick to blame radiation levels across the Pacific on the deteriorating power plant. Is the radiation spreading that far, and is there any way to tell if it's actually from Japan? Trace explains why even with the best technology, we can't make Fukushima the culprit. So stop worrying!
Last year saw two videos, the first under the old DNews label, the second as Seeker.  Here's the earlier one, The Internet Is Overreacting About Fukushima's Radiation, Here's Why.

Over 6 years later, new readings from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant show that radiation levels are still very high, but should you be worried?
Yes, DNews is still telling its viewers to chill.

As Seeker, the channel became a little more concerned, but at least it had a scientific basis.  Watch A New Source of Fukushima Radiation Was Just Found, Now What?.

Researchers found radioactive particles from Fukushima on beaches miles away, but how did it get there? And should we be worried?
Make no mistake, things are bad, but there is no need to make them worse than they really are.  I'm glad DNews and now Seeker does not exaggerate for views and just tells the truth.  May I continue to follow its example.